• Primatologist and conservation icon Jane Goodall has formally joined a global effort to counter climate change and the extinction crisis by planting a trillion trees over the next decade.
  • On Tuesday, Goodall announced Trees for Jane, an initiative that will raise money for carefully-vetted reforestation and forest conservation projects around the world.
  • Trees for Jane is partnering with the Trillion Tree Campaign, an initiative led by the German NGO Plant-for-the-Planet, and 1t.org, a World Economic Forum project, to reach the trillion trees goal by 2030.
  • If these combined efforts realize this aim, it would increase Earth’s tree cover by about one-third relative to today. Currently we’re losing about 15 billion trees a year, mostly due to deforestation.

Primatologist and conservation icon Jane Goodall has formally joined a global effort to counter climate change and the extinction crisis by planting a trillion trees within a decade.

On Tuesday, Goodall announced Trees for Jane, an initiative that will raise money for vetted reforestation and forest conservation projects.

“Forests are part of the solution to many of the world’s problems,” Goodall told Mongabay via a recent Zoom conversation. “Planting the right trees in the right places and protecting existing forests can help slow climate change and species extinction, while also helping local communities.”

Jane Goodall hosting her Hopecast podcast in September 2021. Photo credit: Mongabay
Jane Goodall hosting her Hopecast podcast in September 2021. Photo credit: Mongabay

Trees for Jane is partnering with the Trillion Tree Campaign, an initiative led by the German NGO Plant-for-the-Planet, and 1t.org, a World Economic Forum project supported by Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, to reach the trillion trees goal by 2030.

If these combined efforts realize this aim, it would increase Earth’s tree cover by about one-third relative to today, according a study published in Nature in 2015. Currently we are losing about 15 billion trees a year, mostly due to deforestation.

Sungai Utik rainforest. Photo added in 2019 after the community won the UNDP Equator Prize.
Sungai Utik community forest in Indonesian Borneo. The Sungai Utik community won the UNDP Equator Prize in 2019 for its long-running efforts to protect its customary forest from loggers.

But while tree-planting on such a massive scale could sequester vast amounts of carbon, there are concerns about the potential social and environmental impacts, especially if trees are planted at the expense of native ecosystems or if land targeted for planting is seized from local communities. Further worries include the types of species used and whether trees will survive long enough to sequester carbon and afford habitat for wildlife.

For those reasons, Trees for Jane includes guidelines for the tree-planting projects and organizations it will support and an advisory body. Goodall has also advised the Trillion Tree Campaign and 1t.org on how to ensure tree-planting efforts are responsibly undertaken.

Forest and wetland in California. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler / mongabay
Forest and wetland in California. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler / mongabay

The upside of a well-executed tree-planting and conservation campaign is substantial, Goodall, along with Trees for Jane co-founder Jeff Horowitz, wrote in an editorial published in Time to coincide with the initiative’s launch.

“Protecting and restoring our forests must become one of the highest of our planetary priorities,” Goodall and Horowitz. “In fact, natural climate solutions, including the restoration and management of forests, grasslands and wetlands, can deliver up to one-third of the emission reductions needed by 2030.”

“We want to inspire everyone worldwide to combat our climate crisis by adding new funding and momentum to ongoing efforts to stop deforestation and restore lost forests. We also want to encourage people to plant and nurture their own trees to help our cause and better value the fragility of nature.”

Rainforest in Gabon in the Congo Basin, which is home to chimpanzees. Photo credit: ZB / mongabay
Rainforest in Gabon in the Congo Basin, which is home to chimpanzees. Photo credit: ZB / mongabay

Header image: Rainforest in Sabah, Malaysia. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler / mongabay

Disclosure: Mongabay Founder Rhett A. Butler is a voluntary advisor to Trees for Jane.

Afforestation, Conservation, Conservation Solutions, Deforestation, Ecosystem Restoration, Environment, Forests, Global Warming Mitigation, Green, Happy-upbeat Environmental, Jane Goodall, Landscape Restoration, Nature-based climate solutions, Rainforests, Reforestation, Restoration, Saving Rainforests, Trees, Tropical Forests


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